4 Ways to Prepare For Holiday Customer Support

Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Customer Service, Sales 2.0 [ 0 Comments ]

customer supportThe holidays are coming. While it’s a joyous time for most of us, it’s also the busiest time for online stores, which are expecting the biggest shopping season of the year.

If you run an online or bricks and mortar store make you want to be sure that you’re preparing your customer support for a potential flurry of extra shoppers.

Often times, customer support can make a huge difference to stressed-out holiday shoppers. Here are some tips for you.

Provide Multiple Easy-to-Find Contact Options.

First of all, try to provide multiple contact options, as each shopper has his/her own communication preferences. You may want to include email, phone, or even forum and SMS in your support channels.

Secondly, make the contact information really prominent on your store. Show the contact options on your home page, contact page, item introduction pages as well as Facebook pages, Twitter Pages and outgoing emails. Don’t forget to include your available time. When it applies, you can even use “contact us” or “chat with us” as a call-to-action besides the big cool “buy now” button.

Add a Live Chat Functionality to Your Store.

This empowers you to actually “see” the visitors in your store and help them in real time during their decision making process. Most buyers have questions to be answered or doubts to be cleared before deciding to buy something, especially when we are doing comparison shopping.

Having a vigorous live chat system in place gives you exactly that advantage; you can have customers’ questions addressed the same minute they are brought up. One sales or support agent can chat with multiple customers simultaneously and handle multiple cases at one time, which translates to improved efficiency and productiveness.

Make Your Agents More Specialized.

It can be demanding to require each of your agents to know everything about your products and services. It’s especially true when you are running a fairly large business that offers a variety of goods and has complicated procedures in place.

A good way to improve the efficiency and professionalism of your agents is to group them into different departments by responsibilities, products or any other criteria applicable to your business and route incoming requests to the most suitable departments or agents. With a division of labor, each agent can quickly grow to be an expert in his/her own field and provide exceptional service for your customers in an efficient way.

Utilize the Power of a FAQ Page.

During the holiday season, the number of visitors and orders increase and so do the number of support inquiries. You may have already heard about the 80/20 rule. It applies to customer service as well. 80% of the customers are asking just 20% of the questions.

Most customers have exactly the same questions or doubts during their shopping process. So, instead of having your valuable sales or support agents answer the same questions over and over again, you can build a FAQ page or knowledge base, which details the answers to questions customers often ask about, such as product specifics, return policies, shipping process and so on. Help customers find most of the answers by themselves.

Today’s communication is in no way limited. With adequate preparation beforehand and communication outlets in place, you can handle this holiday season in an organized manner and stay profitable.

Photo credit: businesscrm.net

Bio: Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Comm100, a leading provider of enterprise-grade live chat software. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn to find out more about him.

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